There once was a small wilderness lake, nestled deep in the forest. Every year various migrating flocks of ducks and geese would touch down and rest at this avarian oasis on their long seasonal trips north and south. Some even stayed all year round. Our aquatic landing strip experienced much exuberant splashing and wave action washing up against the rocky shoreline. Bears foraged along the salal covered perimeter and many animals came to drink and refresh.
Over the years, due to modernized disruption in flight paths, fewer and fewer winged travelers stopped by. Long periods of calm water, undisturbed by visitors, created a peaceful scene. Fewer waves meant more shore grasses and lily pads. The landing strip shrunk. Nature has a way of reclaiming its own and sure enough, with time, the lake became a pond and then a bog. A tiny patch of clear water remained in the middle. Infrequent visitors would access the spot but the rest of the bog grew over, becoming a meadow and eventually a forest.
Is there going back to the lovely lake? Not easily. It would require substantial tree-cutting, digging and dredging. The lake needed action!
Your hips are like that small lake. The Human is designed to move and to experience frequent loading of body parts and actually NEEDS loading to grow, stay strong and injury-free. Hips specifically undergo progressive deterioration as we sit more and move less. By “Movement” I mean actual full range loading of the hip and experiencing action deep into the joint and its muscles. Does walking do this? Sorry to say, not really. Walking is similar to ‘a few ducks landing in the middle of the bog.’ We need increased hip action to increase the “splashing”. Running, hiking, and jumping are key ingredients. Many other sports can help.
If there was one extremely effective action to stir the pond and optimize “lake enhancement” it would be the WALKING LUNGE. I include this in my weekly exercise routine for strength, balance and hip awesomeness!
Here’s what to do. Add lunges to your walk or run, do them on their own. No matter where you fit them in, lunges are effective. I usually do 2-3 sets alternating as I walk forward. Reach each step as far as you can while staying confident and in control doing as many as you can comfortably accomplish. Keep the knee from dipping inward and be sure to have enough balance and strength to smoothly step forward on the other foot. Place most of your weight on the lead leg. Do them on a 2-3 second count and once completing a set, walk or run for a few minutes until you’re ready for another set. Be sure to recover completely between sets.
If your hips are sore, painful, stiff or restricted definitely come and get them checked out here at the clinic and we will make a plan for you to regain optimal function. Do not engage in lunges if the hips are showing signs of degeneration. We can help you free those stuck hips and give you effective guidance toward renewed capacity. This includes rehabilitation before and after hip surgery and/or replacement.
Keep the ducks splashing! Keep the lake clear and fresh and beautiful!
Love your hips!